AS HIS family has hoped, crowds of Islanders lined the streets and cheered to pay tribute to Isle of Wight teenager Joe Ellis today (Thursday).
Joe Ellis, who died last week aged just 13, united the Island with a campaign to raise £100,000 for a brand new treatment for the aggressive cancer he had been diagnosed with.
Now the money raised will become his legacy and will support other children with cancer and their families.
At today’s service a host of traction engines and steam rollers filled St Thomas Square, as church bells rang out.
Joe's dad, Simon Ellis, a policeman, led the funeral cortege in a steam engine, a passion for which father and son shared.
A police outrider and escort joined the procession, and members of the police, ambulance and fire service formed a guard of honour for Joe. Simon's police colleagues on E-Team acted as pallbearers wearing Joe Ellis Trust T-Shirts.
Following the wishes of Joe's family — dad Simon, mum Sally and brother Jack, 16 — children and adults dressed in blue and purple and cheered, clapped and whistled as the procession passed through the town.
Joe's school Christ the King College, Newport, closed at 1.05pm to allow his school friends the chance to say goodbye.
During the service, Rev Clive Leach from Christ the King spoke of Joe’s friends’ and teachers’ memories of the teenager, described as 'mischievous’.
Chair of the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Police Federation John Apter said: "This just demonstrates the unique link people on the Island have with each other. People have really come together in memory of a little boy who many did not know, which is magic."
Several of Joe’s favourite pieces of music were played during the service, including Tiesto’s Adagio for Strings and Rudimental’s Feel the Love.
The Isle of Wight County Press was given permission by Joe's family to photograph and report on the service.
Police colleagues of Joe's father Simon join in the applause as they arrive in St Thomas' Square.
St Thomas' Square was packed with Islanders paying tribute to Joe.
Pallbearers wore Joe Ellis Trust T-Shirts. The campaign has raised more than £83,000.
Joe's family asked Islanders to make as much noise possible and wear casual clothing to the funeral.